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Five Ways to Introduce Citrus in your diet

Five Ways to Introduce Citrus in your diet

Citrus fruits have an array of health benefits from boosting your immunity, improving bowel health, anti-aging, reducing cholesterol and promoting good bowel movement.  Citrus are seasonal during the winter months for a very good reason.

Here are 5 ways to get more citrus into your everyday diet.

  1. Squeeze some lemon into your glass of water – this will aid digestion by stimulating your gastric acid production and remove toxins from your bowel.
  2. Choose a mandarin with 40g of almonds as your morning tea snack – it will give you the energy your body needs to power through the morning and stimulate your blood sugar level
  3. Add some orange to your smoothie – whether it’s a berry smoothie or a green smoothie, adding a whole orange cut up will add more fibre and Vitamin C to your drink
  4. Add citrus fruit to your green tea (lemon or lime)– this will actually increase the health benefits of green tea by increasing the antioxidant survival rate in the gut 13 fold
  5. Add citrus fruits to your fruit salad – make up a fruit salad including grapefruit and orange, add the juice of a whole lemon to preserve the fruit salad.

Submitted by Sinead Smyth Clinical Nutritionist at Naed Nutrition



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Don’t Ditch Your Diabetes Over the Holidays

Don’t Ditch Your Diabetes Over the Holidays

The eggnog. The cookies.  The luscious cheesecake calling you from the party table.  The extra glass of champagne that says “Sip Me”. When you have diabetes, the holidays can certainly be a challenge!

The worst thing you can do?

It may seem like a good idea to ditch your diabetes over this season of tarts and shortbread, but your diabetes will be waiting for you when you’re done.  And unfortunately, all those sweets can have a pretty sour result on your body.

Top 5 “Sweet” Tips to Keep Your Diabetes in Check

1.  Pre-Eat: It’s super easy to over-indulge in all the tasty dishes served this time of year. One way to prevent these temptations is not to skip a meal that day. Skipping meals will make you feel ravenous and binge eat later, not to mention the havoc it wreaks on your blood sugars.

Eat every 3-4 hours and include healthy snacks. You’ll prevent harmful blood sugar swings and overeating. Before leaving home, make sure to eat a low-calorie, healthy snack to avoid overeating later.  Try low-fat cheese and crackers, yogurt and fruit or a handful of almonds or walnuts with a serving of fruit.

2.  Spend Your Calories Well: Before you fill up your plate, survey the buffet table. This way you can plan out what you’ll choose and make some decisions as to where you’ll "spend your calories". If you’re eyeing that decadent dessert (and you know you’re going to have it), then choose fewer carbs at your meal to balance it out. Ask yourself, “Do I really need to have one of everything”? Try choosing your top 5 faves to put on your plate. It also helps to steer clear of the food table during the evening to avoid these tasty temptations.

3.  Petite Portions:  With so much variety and calories everywhere you look, keep your portion sizes petite. Choose a smaller plate and you’ll trick your eyes to think you have a full plate. When you’re done eating, wait a few minutes to see if you’re satisfied. Chances are you will be.

4.  Drink Sensibly: Yes it’s true; alcohol contains excess calories and no other nutrition (the barley and grapes don’t count here!).  Keep in mind that drinking alcohol before a meal can make you feel hungrier and more likely to overeat.  If you’re choosing an alcoholic beverage at your meal, reduce the calories by adding carbonated water to wine for a refreshing wine spritzer or add sugar-free mix to hard liquor. Pass on the sweet liqueurs and coolers as they’ll spike up your blood sugars.  Be sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water.

5.  Stay Physically Active: No time to go into the gym?  No problem! Stay active in other ways.  Take a walk, go swimming, or if you are in a cold climate, go skating or sledding (walking up those hills is great exercise!) or alternatively partake in a good old-fashioned snowball fight if your in the Northern Hemispere.

So this holiday season, don’t ditch your diabetes. With a few tricks up your sleeve, you can have your cake (or buttertart) and eat it too!

Article sourced from Bev Carson & Ginette Markham


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Change of Seasons for 3 very good Reasons

Change of Seasons for 3 very good Reasons

Top to toe, inside to outside, it’s time to not just clean but purge, revitalize and re nourish in time for summer.

We hear so much about Detoxing your body, which don’t get me wrong is important in my option, but why just focus on 1 element of the process. 

Spring is an ideal time to do some purging, changing habits, cleaning up.  We were given seasons for a good reason, to inspire change and action.  I can feel it can you?

  1. Move it Baby! The sun is coming up earlier, time to get that body out of bed earlier and get movin’ baby.  This will pick up your mood, energy and vitality for the day. I promise you, just try it for 3 days and then let me know if you don’t feel any different.  It does take 27 days to change a habit though!
  2. Detox time – yep, I said the “D” word. Start to do a gentle internal body cleanse.  I recommend the 3 months of spring.  1 week, sorry folks that just won’t cut it.  Especially if you have struggled with illness this winter, this is a sure sign your body is toxic and you need to clean out some internal pipes baby to boost that immune system.
    We book our cars in for a regular service, so to our bodies need an over haul.
    Starts with a good quality parasite cleanse.  Parasites come from anywhere really, but common sources are animals and on our food. These little guys can create havoc in our system and nasty complaints that present as symptoms for many disease.  You will need to do a parasite cleanse, leave it for 1 week for the eggs to hatch and then redo the cleanse again for it to be 100% effective.  Then start introducing your green supplements powders or juices along with liver, kidney and bowel detox products.  These are the elimination pathways, give them a good flush.  Finally, add in a therapeutic probiotic to repopulate the system with good bacteria.

Now, in the words of the Madden brothers you are “done done, done. “ Make sure you drink lots of water over this time to assist with the elimination of the toxins.  By the end you should be feeling fabulous and ready to greet the summer. 

  1. Finally there is no point in detoxing the inside if you don’t do the outside.  Over this time have a good look at the products you are using in your home, your personal care products and your general exposure to chemicals.  Get very familiar with what is in your products and know what you are putting on your skin that soon disappears into our blood stream.

For product referrals and recommendations go to the pantries of and find your Perfect match.  Alternatively you can email me at , I can put you on the right track.

Good luck and happy cleansing from the inside out.


Kylie Hollonds

Director – GK Gluten Free Foods &



Ph: 0408 067 761

Symptoms of food intolerance

Symptoms of food intolerance

Symptoms of food intolerance can include:

  • Nervousness, tremor
  • Sweating
  • Palpitations
  • Rapid breathing
  • Headache, migraine
  • Diarrhoea
  • Burning sensations on the skin
  • Tightness across the face and chest
  • Breathing problems – asthma-like symptoms
  • Allergy-like reactions.
  • Symptoms of food allergy

The symptoms of food allergy can be life threatening.

Common symptoms include:

  • Itching, burning and swelling around the mouth
  • Runny nose
  • Skin rash (eczema)
  • Hives (urticaria – skin becomes red and raised)
  • Diarrhoea, abdominal cramps
  • Breathing difficulties, including wheezing and asthma
  • Vomiting, nausea.

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Food Allergy and Food Intolerance

Food Allergy and Food Intolerance

Food Allergy and Food Intolerance… what is the difference.


One in five individuals in Australia have at least one allergy, which places Australia with one of the highest prevalence’s of allergy amongst the developed world (1). If the present trend continues it is estimated that there will be a 70% increase in the number of Australians with allergies by 2050, which correlates to 7.7 million people (1).

The high and ever increasing prevalence of food allergy and atopic disease has researchers identifying genetic predisposition as a risk factor, where in children with neither parent having an allergy, the child will have a 20% chance of having one allergy disorder (2). If one parent has an allergy disorder the risk increases to ≈ 40%. If both parents have allergy disorders then the risk increases to 60 – 70%. In addition to genetics some studies reveal the importance of the impact of environmental influences (2).

Researches from the John Hopkins Children Centre believe there is a trend toward more severe and more persistent allergies (3). However it should be noted that the severity of allergy presentation in a family history is not a good predictive guide as to how sensitive a child may be (4). In many cases when the presentation of allergy or food intolerance in the parent is only mild the possibility of allergy or food intolerance being related to a child’s symptoms can be overlooked (4).

The allergen pathway commences before the child is born, with allergens crossing the placenta, programming the immune system down the allergy pathway (4). This impact commences about halfway through the pregnancy, which is the time a mother could start focusing on minimising allergen exposure via modifying the maternal diet and minimising environmental factors (4).

The modification of the maternal diet encompasses a varied diet based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines (4). It discourages bingeing on any food in the second half of the pregnancy and during breastfeeding (4). There should be the total avoidance of egg, seed, peanut and nut (from the household) (4). There are precautions to take with respect to milk and dairy foods, and also fish and other seafood, and a minimisation of one’s intake of soybeans and other legumes (4). With respect to meats, allergies can occur, with pork allergy tending to be more likely to occur when eaten with fat (4).

It is recommended that lean meats are consumed. Wheat, oats, barley and buckwheat can all cause allergy and tend to only cause symptoms in highly allergic infants (4). In relation to vegetables, potato allergy is commonly seen in the highly allergic child, however in general there is no reason to modify vegetable intake during pregnancy (4). This may, however, be necessary during breastfeeding as some infants may react to tomato and spicy foods (5). Of the fruits the avoidance of the citrus family is recommended, with the reactions occurring to fruit often being related to a food intolerance rather than an allergy (5). Kiwifruit is the most allergenic fruit with the possibility of allergy development in the highly sensitive child (4).

The environmental measures include the total avoidance of cigarette smoke, ensuring houses are well ventilated, particularly kitchens where there are gas cook tops, and taking dust mite allergen precautions and pet precautions, particularly with respect to cats, rabbits, guineas pigs and mice (4). There should be total latex avoidance, in particular powdered latex products that cause the allergy to develop (4).

The allergen pathway highlights the possibility of the presentation of allergy related symptoms early in life, with researchers identifying that 2.2% – 5.5% of infants have food hypersensitivity during the first year of life (5). In the presentation of allergy in children we usually find that they are allergic to two or three different foods, with the most common being peanut, egg, milk, other nuts, seafood and sesame. Wheat, soy and rice can also cause allergies (5).

We should also consider the possibility of food intolerances. There is often confusion about the difference between allergy and intolerance and the terms are sometimes used in place of one another. There is a difference between food allergy and intolerance both in the types of foods and the way they affect individuals.

The immunological basis to Food Allergy

In the normal process of digestion food proteins are broken down in to smaller proteins (peptides) by enzymes in the stomach and the small intestine (7).  These smaller particles are prevented from entering the tissues of the small intestine by physiological and immunological barriers (7).

However, on occasions, small proteins (peptides) are absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, which initiates an immunological response (7). Whether this initiates an allergic (Ig-E mediated) or intolerant response (Non Ig-E mediated) is dependent on the genetics of the individual, the characteristics of the food protein and the microenvironment.  It is the interaction of these components, which leads to the development of a Food Allergy or Food Intolerance (7).

The classic allergic response manifest as urticaria (hives), angioedema and anaphylaxis; the more delayed allergic response may manifest as inflammation in the colon or skin or enterocolitis or eczema respectively (7).

Classic IgE – immunological mediated allergic response…. How does it start?

The food protein enters the body via the gut or lung mucosa. Once inside the tissue, these proteins are then engulfed by specialised cells (deneretic cells) (7). This then stimulates B cells to produce Th2 cells (7) this results in a stimulation of cells, which results in the production of antibodies. These antibodies bind to mast cells in the tissue or basophils in the blood and stay in the tissue for months. This process is called sensitization (7). These antibodies are known as specific IgE antibodies. On a subsequent occasion when the body is then exposed to this food protein the protein binds to the antibody. This results in the breakdown of these cells and the subsequent release of histamine, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, platelet activation factors and bradikynin (7). These chemicals result in vascular dilation and hyperpermeability, which attract cells into the tissue, which results in inflammation (7). Skin Prick Tests (SPT) and Radioallergosorbent Test (RAST) are used to diagnose Ig E immune mediated food allergy.

Non – IgE – Immune mediated Food Allergy

The mechanism to non-IgE mediated food intolerant reaction is not always clear.  There have been several research studies, which have investigated the Immunological basis of gastrointestinal non-IgE allergies.  These have clearly identified the involvement of T- cells (Th1 and? Th2) and cells such as oeosinophils (7).  The mechanism encompasses the initial exposure of the protein to the tissue, which results in the sensitization of the T- cell (7).  Then, the subsequent exposure results in the release of inflammatory chemicals (cytokines), which lead to chronic inflammation (7).  The presentation of non-immune mediated food allergy can present at all ages.

There are diagnostic difficulties associated with the diagnosis of non-IgE mediated food allergies.  The diagnostic tools include biopsy and patch testing (7).  Patch testing has a role in eosinophillic oesophagitis and atopic dermatitis, although we sometimes use it to help identify foods that may be causing bowel disturbance. When the food is placed in contact with the skin, the specialized cells in the skin pick up the food proteins and present it to the immune system. If the individual has sensitivity to that food, they will react with inflammation at the site of the food over the next 2-3 days. This gives us a window to what is happening in the gastrointestinal tract with foods.

Non allergic food hypersensitivity / food intolerance

A non-allergic food hypersensitivity is usually characterised by a delayed reaction, which can occur hours or even days after eating (7).  The sensitivity to certain foods is defined as the inability to properly process and fully digest certain foods, leading to chronic symptoms. A food sensitivity / intolerance does not involve the immune system though rather involves the stimulation of nerve endings in tissues by a chemical component which may be naturally occurring, an additive, or a combination (6). These include amines, salicylates, glutamates, preservatives and colours.  Symptoms of food intolerance are extensive and variable. They can be very similar to those of an allergic response. Symptoms of allergic reaction are usually sudden, while intolerance response may sometimes occur straight after ingesting a problem food or have a delayed response. Symptoms may take 12-24 hours to develop. The severity of symptoms can also depend on the quantity of the problem food ingested. They may not occur until a threshold amount is ingested.

Where to from here?

A child that continually screams when being breast fed, has unsettled sleep patterns, wakes moaning with writhing, has loose stools, is colicky, has slow weight gain, reflux, eczema, nappy rash, or displays irritable, impulsive or overactive behaviour, should prompt us to consider the possibility of food allergy/food intolerance.
An experienced dietician, while awaiting an appointment with an allergist, can undertake the initial investigation of a possible food allergy/food intolerance.  Once identified then an appropriate management plan can be established. Continual guidance and support are key factors in the management of these conditions, through what can be a challenging time for children and their families.


1. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, November 2007, Economic Impact of Allergies.
2. Professor Mimi Tang, SBS, TV Allergy program, October 2007, Allergic Reaction: Children and their allergies.
3. Dr Velencia Soutter, December 2007, email communication.
4. Royal Prince Alfred Allergy Resources, Food Allergy Prevention.
5. Scott H. Sicherer, MD, Donald Y.M. Leung, MD, PhD, June 2007, Food allergy, anaphylaxis, dermatology and drug allergy, Journal of Clinical Immunology, Advances in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Series 2007, pp 1462 1469.
6. Dr Robert Loblay, SBS, TV Allergy program, October 2007, Allergic Reaction: Children and their allergies 7. Isabel Skypala and Carina Venter, Food Hypersensitivity, Diagnosing and Managing Food Allergies and Intolerances, Blackwell Publishing 2009.

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Drink to Your Digestive Health!

Drink to Your Digestive Health!

Cultured or fermented drinks have been traditionally consumed for thousands of years to aid digestion, heal the gut, build immunity and help with detoxification. Originally though, these food staples still prized in many cultures were borne out of necessity as a way of preserving extra produce after a harvest that would spoil if not consumed at once.


The simple beauty of culturing or fermentation is that this process creates a nutrient-dense, enzyme-rich live food that is easily assimilated by the body. By an amazing alchemical process known as lacto fermentation the friendly bacteria naturally present together with those added by a culture starter dine on the sugars and quickly lower the PH creating a more acidic environment where the bacteria are able to reproduce and replicate quite prolifically. They are able to convert the starches and sugars into lactic acid, which as a natural preservative inhibits the growth of pathogens and preserves the nutrients.


Culturing your drinks takes your nutrition to a whole other level of wellness by helping to re establish your inner ecosystem. We all now know of the gut- brain connection and how approximately 75% of the neurotransmitters found in our gut also reside in the brain. So it would make sense to find ways of increasing our good gut bacteria and therefore improving mood, cognition, vitality and wellbeing in general. Consuming cultured liquids is a great practice to introduce to children to help build immunity and aid digestion and are especially helpful for those with food intolerances – a perfect example of using food as medicine as a preventative. Using small amounts to start with they can be added to smoothies or yoghurts or as a base for ice cream or ice blocks.


A good place to start is Young Coconut Kefir where we can culture the water from a young green coconut (not the hairy brown type) and transform an already nutritious, mineral rich liquid full of electrolytes into a powerhouse of probiotic nutrition.  The culturing process creates a drink where the nutrients are increased one hundred fold and the liquid becomes much more hydrating and bioavailable for the body as well creating a powerful fortress against foreign invading pathogens.


There are plenty of other healing fermented drinks you might like to investigate and slowly integrate into your family’s diet: milk kefir, kombucha, beet kvass, water kefir, rejuvalac just to name a few. Like me you might just get the ‘bug’ and wonder how you ever did without them!


Article submitted by: Kitsa  –  Kitsa’s Kitchen


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